This is surreal. I am on the stage and as I step into position, I realize that I have been dreaming about this for more than ten years. Even though I am comfortable with public speaking, I find that I simply have to stop and take a breath. A very deep breath.
What am I experiencing? A strange mix of fear and joy.
Out there, in front of me, are over one thousand people — sitting, waiting for me to open my mouth, dazzle them with my story and end with something truly profound. No pressure there.
Thank God the lights make their faces all but invisible to me. But I know they’re there. I’m grateful that in the front row are my family, my team and those that make up the board of directors of my life. They give me strength to go on.
The music playing the background is David Bowie’s Changes. The mood in the room is high. The excitement is palpable, a steady drumbeat of thrill and anticipation. Or perhaps it is just the pounding of my own heart. The pressure is on.
Behind me is an enormous screen with an image of a chess board, populated with dominos. Superimposed over it is the title of my talk, “My Life as a Game Changer.” I laugh to myself. Do you supposed they will realize the obviousness of the dominos not being the normal chess pieces? I hope that the audience will get it.
Beside me are three red letters, one flowing into the next that have to be five feet tall each.
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